Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Stretch Princess

It's been 4 years since the final episode and yet, amazingly, Buffy just keeps giving. Not just the ongoing season 8 on Dark Horse Comics (which is rad), or the forthcoming Angel season 6 comics series (at last, an answer to a 3-year-old cliffhanger), I'm talking about the music.
I was watching 'The Freshman' again, and I noticed a catchy song being played as Buffy was walking on her college's campus the first time. I rushed to Google afterwards and found out that the song in question was 'Universe' by Stretch Princess. I wasn't able to find that song anywhere then (and still not, if anyone has it, shoot me an email!), so I try to find other stuff by them. Turned out they're another decent British power pop band from the late nineties that nobody knows about.
Stretch Princess was a bit of a mystery. They only have 2 albums, one in 1998 and one in 2002. Their official web site has been dead for 4 years, their MySpace has 13 friends (it doesn't look official to me ), and I can't even find a proper medium-quality pic of them. It's quite likely that they're defunct now.
So this is the picture I paint in my head. 3 friends in college decide to form a band, start singing in frat parties, write a few great songs, and get picked up by a major label. Have a couple of albums out, achieve minor success, then dropped by label for poor sales. They give up, get on with their lives, find real jobs, start a family, and bring up the topic of 'the good old times' in email conversations or AIM every once in a while.
The thing is, this is straightforward, immediate, melodic pop with guitars we've got here. Out of the handful of songs I've heard, 'Freakshow' is the strongest, a post-break-up song that is cute and gets better with every listen. 'Sugar' is another great track in the same manner from the self-titled debut album. Since the lead singer has that kind of little-girl voice, and their music is indeed a little bit bubblegum (but in a credible way), they've been featured in soundtracks of such trashy teen movies with titles like 'Passport To Paris' (The Olsen twins...creepy) and Teaching Mrs. Tingle (Katie Holmes pre-brainwashed).
They just deserved better.
Souvenirs from the past that you found while cleaning up the attic, that brought back all the nostalgia. That's what it feels like.

Stretch Princess - Freakshow

(Fun With Humans, 2002)
Stretch Princess - Sugar
(Stretch Princess, 1998)

Myspace/Buy it at Amazon

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